Monday, November 16, 2009

Dr. Spock's Method of Potty Training for Nannies and Au Pairs

Potty Training Method Three (3)

The third method of potty training we will discuss is the Dr. Benjamin Spock method of potty training. This method is similar to both the Child-Orientated potty training method and Dr. Sears method in potty training in that they all encourage caregivers not to force children to use the toilet.

Dr. Spock explains that most children are ready to potty train between 2 and 2.5 years of age. He recommends waiting until a child is ready, so that the child will learn without being forced, and the process will be more relaxed and pleasant with fewer power struggles. Dr. Spock believes the child must decide to gain control of bowel and bladder to be more grown-up. Caregivers must trust the child's desire and be patient.

Once training begins, caregivers must be consistent and convey the expectation that the child will toilet as older people do by praising and encouraging success, and avoiding criticism and anger in the event of accidents and refusal.

Before starting to potty train a child allow the child into the bathroom with other family members without the pressure to perform. Teach the child to wash her hands afterwards. Talk about what is happening so the child learns the words and also that going to the toilet is a straight forward fact of life and not dirty, shameful, secret, or mysterious. Avoid commenting on how smelly or messy "poop" is so the child does not confuse criticism of evacuation with criticism of himself.

First Dr. Spock suggests having small plastic child-size potty chair with the urine guard removed (boys and girls should learn to eliminate in the sitting position), a step stool, a small bar of soap so the child can learn hand washing, and books or toys near the potty to entertain the child.

1. Get the child used to the potty chair. Have the child sit on the potty fully clothed for as long or short as child chooses.

2. Once the child has accepted the seat, suggest the child use it for bowel movements the way the parents do.

3. Let the child leave the seat whenever the child chooses so he does not associate using the potty with punishment or imprisonment. They ought to think of it as a voluntary act carried out with pride; do not urge or pressure the child if the child is unwilling.

4. If movement occurs in diaper, show the child how to deposit it in the potty and say that is where she will do it soon, too. Do not empty the potty into the toilet and flush it while the child is watching.

5. Once the child shows interest, take the child to the potty two to three times per day, especially if signals of impending elimination are detected.

6. Praise the child for being dry for long periods just like "parent or favorite character." Do not over-praise, as this age group does not like to be too compliant.

7. When the child appears ready to be more independent, remove all lower clothing and place the potty nearby explaining to the child that she can use it whenever they need to by herself. Caregivers may give occasional reminders.

8. Put the child back in diapers if the child resists or has an accident.

9. Children usually achieve bowel and bladder control at the same time. Once this control is obtained, switch the child to training pants.

Do not scold the child for the occasional accident. Boys will learn to stand and pee sooner or later by imitating friends and family. Once control is achieved, teach proper wiping and hand washing Teach the child to wipe from front to back; the caregivers may have to complete the job at first.
Buy the book below.

Tomorrow: Laurie Boucke’s Early Start Potty Training.

What potty training techniques have worked for you?


Anonymous said...

The boy I care for does not have a problem using the potty at home but he won't use the potty at preschool. When we have him to to school in his underpants he doesn't even attempt to use the potty he just goes in his clothes. Does anyone have any ideas on how to get him to use the potty at school?

lovebeingananny said...

To anonymous above with a boy who won't use potty at preschool: is the bathroom dirty or smell like urine or poopy? Maybe the toilet is too high or too cold. Maybe he doesn't like the smell of the cleaner. Is their toilet too loud? Is he forced to go alone and still needs help or if alone he gets scared? Or, does a teacher have to go with him to the potty and he is embarrassed? Maybe he is too busy to concentrate or remember to go potty at preschool. There could be a million reasons.

As long as the teacher and the aides are kind and patient and remind him then I would not worry about it. But if the teacher or aides are getting frustrated they may be making him feel scared to go and disappoint them.

Anonymous said...

I had a lil boy who would only go to the potty when I was taking care of him, but refused to go for his parents. He would go to the bathroom all day when he was with me. As soon as I they came in the door he would ask them for a diaper. It was hilarious at first until I started asking them what methods they were using at night and the mom said they were using pull-ups and diapers. With me I started him off with big boy underwear and he only wore pull -ups at naptime! I personally am against pull-ups bc I feel like they send the wrong message. I told the mom to try to limit her use of pull-ups and diapers at night and see what happens and be consistent. After about a week he got the message!

Anonymous said...

Will the preschool allow you to observe the class so you can see what is going on? It sounds like he may be experiencing a lot of pressure about going potty. Something about that bathroom is scaring him I think.

Laura S.

Anonymous said...

Just do not punish him. He just has negative associations with that bathroom and forcing him will just make it worse. If he is not pressured and if he has a chance to see other kids going into the bathroom he will probably come around after a while. Wouldn't hurt to cut back on fluids during the school day too.

AuPairDebbie said...

The teacher could try bribing him with a sticker chart at school but then they will have to do that with all the kids. Can you just send him in diapers?

I know I still hate using public bathrooms YUCK maybe he's just being like me.

Although, big difference because I stay dry.

Ask the teacher what to do.

Anonymous said...

As long as the school does not mind send him in diapers for now. Other advice about going to school a little early and let him go with you successful would be best.
Newborn Specialist
Debbie Haas
Atlanta GA

Anonymous said...

All of the last 3 potty training styles suggest kindness and patience and rewards. Can you do those when it comes to child using potty at school?

My instincts are saying he's had a bad experience or just scared. Taking him to practice is a great idea. Also have him practice asking the teacher if he can go to potty to practice that also.

Anonymous said...

I think I would do what the parents and teachers tell you to do. If they say pack extra clothes and plastic bags in case he wets himself just do it. I'm not sure if I would assert myself as much as others. It's kind of a parental concern, not mine. I don't want to make a mistake or step on other people's toes. It's the teacher's classroom not mine. It's the parent's child not mine.
-- part time nanny
-- full time housekeeper
-- Sue T.
-- Redmond WA

tobagonanny said...

Oh Sue from Redmond your response really ticks me off.

You are an important person in the child's life.I agree you should follow the parents decisions but you can certainly voice some in for the child too!

Anonymous said...

What totally grosses me out is that even the parents leave the toilet lid up.

Their toddler has a fear of flushing. I've been working with her and one way is to close the lid.

But even before that, please people, no one wants to see the inside of a toilet!

Plus we are told time and time at again elementary school and up to close lid before flushing because it spreads germs!

So disgusting that parents who are so concerned about washing hand just let it all get sprayed into the room simply by not shutting the lid.

And don't get me started on the fact that it is unsafe with little ones in the house!!!

Anonymous said...

Potty training is supposed to be a milestone in a child's life. It is an opportunity for childcare providers to bond with the child.
In reality it is not the child's fault. This is a time that is a learning experience for a child. If you or the teacher is frustrated the chances of successful potty training is gone.

Ideas to sit in the class and observe and creating positive outcome by coming early to use potty at school are great. Sue from Redmond is wrong. You have a great opportunity to help the child go potty at school by bringing him yourself before school. Great idea and Sue you are a bad example of giving up.

Anonymous said...

Could there be a gap between potty and toilet for the preschooler not using the toilet at school? Is the child using a small training potty and not a real toilet at home then expected to use the toilet at school?

Anonymous said...

My 3 year old son absolutely refuses to go poop in the potty. He has been using the potty for pee for around 4 months but poops in his pants. Have no idea what to do. I`ve tried rewards, or taking away his "big boy toys".He even had a period when he held it until he got constipated and had to put him back on diapers and give him medicine. Teacher in preshool suggets to ignore this behavour, tell him that he is old enough to learn and everytime he has an accident I act normal, take him to the bathroom and get him change.